It's true, there are many interpretations of Aikido. Along that line, for me, there's just way too many divisions going on here: religious/martial, Aikido-like/non-Aikido-like, etc. The point of my post was that these divisions are the problem, and trying to come up with better dividing lines, etc., is never going to be the solution because such action in the end can only be delusion in the face of what violence truly is (primal, ugly, raw, etc.).
As there are choices to how to understand Aikido, there are people that are choosing. If you want strikes in your Aikido, just choose to put them in. If that in the end has you departing from what someone "above" you is doing, so be it. In this way, for me, it's silly to talk about, "Is there striking in Aikido?" This is because the only real question that could be relevant is, "What is your Aikido like?," and this is question best posed to oneself. To understand this question from any kind of organization or institutional point of view is in essence to say, "I don't have an Aikido yet."
For me, violence is violence, fighting is fighting, and man can make an art or a spiritual practice out of anything. The only person that would not agree with this is by profession or by hobby a museum curator - a collector of dead things. For me, if you want your art to be viable as a martial or as a spiritual practice, you need it to be alive - not dead. Therefore, for me, the most dangerous thing to a viable practice is the museum death brought about by delineations that have more to do with institutional politics and its symbolic capital than with anything that might seriously matter in a pinch.
To Matthew, the original poster, in my opinion, if you want to find striking in Aikido, you have two choices: Adopt the institutional-based positions that look to legitimate what by all other martial arts is pretty much a lack of striking, or find it on your own (which you will have to do in the end anyways) in the currently institutionally-illegitimate understandings of Aikido that already have done so.